Review: Hidden Figures (2016)

Black women only recently received a voice in Hollywood. With TV shows such as „Orange is the New Black“, „Scandal“ and „How to get away with Murder“ strong female lead characters of color became recognized. In a year like 2016 it really shouldn’t be of discussion if leading characters are male or female or what color their skin has, but it still is an issue. The only way we can change that, is by demanding different movies, by watching movies portraying strong and interesting female characters, characters of different ethnicities and write and make these movies, we want to see, ourselves.

„Hidden Figures“ is the unbelievable story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monàe), three Afro-american women who, at the beginning of the 1960s, played significant parts in one of the most important achievement in US history: John Glenn orbiting the earth. The film portrays the struggle of three brilliant minds, who, in life and working at NASA, had to fight every day to be accepted not only because they are women, brilliant women that is, but especially because they are women of color.

Directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent), and based on the book written by Margot Lee Shetterly (her debut), the film hits all the right notes. While the amazing Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer (who is now nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Supporting Role) and Janelle Monàe portrayed these fine women to the T, the supporting cast including Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Kevin Costner don’t look too shabby either. It’s a beautifully emotional film that makes you laugh, shake your head and cry…even because of a bathroom. (You’ll know what I mean, once you have seen the film.) But most of all, what I took with me was the feeling of empowerment. Even though I am not black, I am not a struggling woman trying to just do what I am good at and be accepted, I felt strong and powerful after leaving the theater. I was grateful for all the women who have come before me and made it possible for me to not struggle, to not be suppressed, to see voting as something normal, my right. It is because of women like them that we today have the opportunity to achieve greatness.

That’s why „Hidden Figures“ is the most important film of this year and EVERYBODY should go watch it. Women should see it and feel empowered. Men should see it and try to understand what it meant and what it means to be a woman and especially a woman of color.
Yes, we don’t live in the 60s anymore. The moon was so yesterday, Mars is the new endeavor. You believe we have come so far. But look at the news. It’s baby steps we took and still take.
„Hidden Figures“ is a mayor and very important step. Not only for men and women but also for people of all skin colors. Skin color and gender don’t make a person who they are. It’s their surroundings, their families and friends. Only the love they receive they can give.

Nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Supporting Actress & Best Original Score) the film was snubbed of a much deserved „Best Picture“ nomination. Still, I am rooting for „Hidden Figures“ and will try and get everyone I know in the cinema. So please, go see it! It’s important!

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